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evocatal draws two new investors as it closes €3.5m Series B round

evocatal GmbH has completed a Series B financing round. All of the company’s existing investors took part, along with new investors NRW.BANK and LANXESS.

In realizing the next step of its growth strategy, Düsseldorf-based enzyme specialist evocatal has partnered with two new investors: specialty chemicals company LANXESS and the NRW.BANK. The investments from this round of financing will be used to extend the firm’s technology platform as well as its product portfolio. “We will significantly expand our team,” says evocatal CEO Dr. Thorsten Eggert, “and we will also increase our capacities and extend our product portfolio to cover the increasing demand for our products.”

“As the financing round is being wrapped up, we will also be kicking off our Innovation Alliance for the Development of Biocatalysts for the Functionalisation of Polymers (FuPol),” adds Dr. Christian Leggewie, CSO at evocatal. The company is coordinating that major project, which is sponsored by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). “In the course of this project,” says Leggewie, “evocatal will additionally receive up to €1.4m over the next five years to develop innovative, enzyme-based solutions in the area of polymer modification.”

The investment in evocatal is the first direct stake that LANXESS has taken in a High-Tech Gründerfonds II portfolio company since it started investing in the fund at the end of 2012. “The chemistry has been right between evocatal and LANXESS since we began working together on projects in September 2011.”, explains Dr. Paul Wagner, LANXESS’ Director of Group Function Innovation & Technology. “Taking a minority stake in evocatal will help us selectively expand this collaboration.”

“Since receiving seed financing in 2007, evocatal has developed into one of Germany´s outstanding industrial biotech companies,” says Ron Winkler, investment manager at  High-Tech Gründerfond. “With LANXESS and NRW.BANK we are very pleased to have convinced two strong partners to get involved in the company’s continued growth.”

For further information about the investment please contact:
evocatal GmbH
Dr. Michael Puls, Managing Director
Merowingerplatz 1a
40225 Düsseldorf
www.evocatal.com
Tel. +49 211 1576095-0
Fax +49 211 1576095-9
m.puls@evocatal.com

About evocatal GmbH
evocatal GmbH develops and produces enzymes and fine chemicals for the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries. Through the production of both its own enzymes and in the targeted development of chemicals on behalf of its clients, the company accelerates customer processes and generates added value through tailored biocatalytic solutions. evocatal’s core technologies focus on the targeted optimization of enzymes and production strains for industrial applications. The firm’s biocatalysts are employed for the synthesis of pharmaceutical compounds and chemical intermediates, as well as in the production of consumer goods – for example in the manufacture and refinement of textiles, adhesives, detergents and cosmetics.
www.evocatal.com

About LANXESS AG
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 9.1 billion in 2012 and roughly 17,400 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 50 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and FTSE4Good as well as the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).
www.lanxess.com

About NRW.Bank
NRW.BANK Corporate Finance, the investment arm of the state development bank of Northrhine-Westphalia, is an investment unit specialized in direct- and fund investments into small and medium enterprises. The unit prefers to invest in seed, start-up, early, mid and later stage ventures, buy-outs and spin-offs. It seeks to provide private equity and venture capital financing to enterprises that focus on established industry sectors and companies active in IT, software and media technologies as well as in life sciences and cleantech. NRW.BANK Corporate Finance is based in Düsseldorf, Germany.
www.nrwbank.de

About Sirius Venture Partners
Based in Wiesbaden and Düsseldorf, Sirius Venture Partners GmbH is a venture capital company focused on early-stage investment.

Together with strong regional partners such as Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf, the S-Kapital-beteiligungsgesellschaft Düsseldorf mbH, the City of Düsseldorf and the NRW.BANK, the VC provider initiated the Seedfonds Düsseldorf at the beginning of 2007. The fund offers growth capital and expertise to young, innovative technology companies in the greater Düsseldorf area for the successful launch and development of business models. Sirius Venture Partners invests primarily in the areas of life science, biotechnology and medtech, information and communications technology, new materials and the engineering sciences. www.sirius-venture.com

About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE Color, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 573.5 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 301.5 million HTGF II).

Contact:
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Ron Winkler
Investment Manager
Schlegelstraße 2
53113 Bonn
Tel.: + 49 228 823001-00
info@high-tech-gruenderfonds.de
www.high-tech-gruenderfonds.de